Once the American flag was removed, a Marine M88 Hercules, a tank/tow-truck equipped with a crane, pulled down the structure. "After rope broke, 70,000 lbs wire pulled it down," McLaughlin wrote. "Got flag back. People tried to get it from me." As Maass wrote, "The spectacle was broadcast live around the world," with many news organizations clinging fast to its apparent symbolism.
Above: McLaughlin's own snapshot of the statue, before it was torn to the ground.